The Committee of the Cashel St. Patrick’s Parade are “delighted with the 2013 event” according to Parade Secretary Sean Laffey who told us that the event surpassed all their plans and expectations.
“We had a very big entry this year with over 40 different groups taking part, even though some of our regulars the ONE ex-Servicemen, the Cashel Fire Brigade, the Cashel Camogie Club and the very popular Rock Rebels Motor Cycle Club were not available this year.
“The standard of entries is getting better each year and I’d personally like to thank Knockavilla National School for their very creative entry of a globe made from plaster casts of the children’s hands. Another highlight was the whirling umbrella from the Cashel Arts Fest. As for the floats, the horse meat scandal was a recurring theme, with some very funny entries. We were delighted to have our first every entries from Golden, both the Golden GAA and the Golden Dramatic Society, both of which did their village proud. We always got great support form the Golden Community at the church gate collections there, which we haven’t been allowed to run over the past two years, so it was a delight to know that Golden hadn’t forgotten us.
“We were really impressed by Cecil Melbourne’s Wanderley Wagon and the Moyglass Vintage Club’s Ned Kelly saloon and bank hold up, including the two live pigs.
Prior to the parade the town retailers put on another good show of festive shop windows, with Darcy’s of Friar Street scooping the top prize, “their window could have come out of the 1950s, it was a pure nostalgia trip window shopping at Darcy’s this year. ”Said Sean. Second prize went to Mikey Ryan’s Pub with their classic take on traditional music whilst Ryan’s Daughter Restaurant of Lady’s Well was awarded the third prize for a very elegant display.
“We’d like to thank all those people who helped out and made the day very special. Our two town bands, The Dermot O’Hurley Pipe band and the Cashel St. Patrick’s Brass Band, the parade would be so much poorer without their talents. We had great support form the Town council and their help with the safety barriers on the morning of the parade was greatly appreciated. We‘d also like to mention the input of both the Gardai and the Civil Defence for their contribution to making the event such a family friendly and safe place to be on the afternoon.
“I’d also like to personally thank the Cashel Flower club for the wonderful work they did in dressing the reviewing stand and Mark Flanagan for supplying us with the articulated Trailer and Walsh’s butchers for supplying the electricity for the PA system. Our major sponsors the Cashel Town Council and the Kilkenny shop deserve a big round of applause from everyone involved in the parade as their financial contribution goes a long way to ensuring the viability of the parade into 2014.
“Our volunteers led by 33 year veteran Tommy Butler pulled out all the stops once again, and I’d like to thank Sean Murphy, Noel Fahy, Evelyn Heffernan, Declan Burgess, and Geraldine Laffey for all their help with the business of stewarding the Parade.
Sean also thanked the Padre Chairman for his work as MC on the day, a difficult task as the entries came thick and fast onto the reviewing space. We were missing the services of our hard working treasurer Wally Ryan, as she was incapacitated, we expect she will be fit and well and her usual a cheery presence at the parade in 2014.!
As for the major prizes, The Youth prize went to the Cashel Neighbourhood Youth Service, who once again put in a tremendous amount of work to provide us with one of the best walking groups of recent years, The second prize of €400 went to the Cashel Girls National School with their Rockin All Over the Word. The Larkspur Park Sports Complex, a first time entry, took top prize. Their float was a tableau on Pope Francis opening their newly refurbished premises. Given that they had less than 3 weeks from Pope Benedict’s retirement to the election of Pope Francis, this float was a remarkable achievement and very funny complete with white smoke and a tennis court.
Sean said “we have had a debriefing already and as ever we have assessed the positive and negative sides of the event, the bits that work well and the hitches and bottle necks that we can improve on next year. The heartening thing is that 2013 will go down as an exceptional parade with huge crowds lining the streets (we estimate over 3000 people attended) and some well thought out and very funny entries. It’s a great shop window for Cashel, for the sports and cultural groups and we are sure that it will be just as big and as colourful next year on Monday 17th March.”